The Role of Personality in Treatment-Related Outcome Preferences Among Pharmacy Students

Ernest H. Law, PharmD, PhD; Ruixuan Jiang, PharmD; Anika Kaczynski, MS; Axel Mühlbacher, PhD; A. Simon Pickard, PhD


Am J Pharm Educ. 2019;83(7) 

In This Article


According to the results of this study, conscientiousness appears to be an important factor for treatment-related outcome preferences among future pharmacists. Conscientiousness and agreeableness may also impact choosing death over specific health states based on the effect magnitude; however, larger studies are needed to confirm this association. The results of this exploratory study highlight several areas that may warrant further investigation to improve understanding of treatment-related outcome preferences. A direct comparison of preferences between clinicians and patients, including caregivers, would be an important addition to the literature. Moreover, differences between professional disciplines (eg, pharmacist versus physician, generalist versus subspecialist physician, etc) could be evaluated, including comparisons within a profession (eg, pharmacy students vs residents vs experienced clinicians), to identify sources of preference heterogeneity. Finally, the results of this study suggest that psychological traits are related to the values future pharmacists place on different treatment-related outcomes. Future studies could evaluate whether health providers understanding their own intrinsic biases, such as those indicated by their personality traits, help clinicians and patients better navigate the shared decision-making process.